Planning and Development

Development Process FAQs

Development Process FAQs

Can I have a Tiny Home on my Property?
How do I obtain a Zone Clearance?

A Zone Clearance (ZC) is required to verify that each new or expanded use or structure complies with all of the applicable requirements of the Fresno Municipal Code and with any applicable policies and standards of the Fresno General Plan and any operative plans. A ZC is also required to confirm that the establishment of a new use is permitted as a matter of right and that no Conditional Use Permit or other entitlements are required prior to securing a tax certificate and commencing operation. To determine if your project qualifies for a Zone Clearance, please review the Zone Clearance Process document below.

What are the fees for a Zone Clearance?

Minor Zone Clearance: $30
Moderate Zone Clearance: $373
Major Zone Clearance: $1,865

When is a Plan Amendment required?

Plan Amendments are required whenever there is a proposed planned land use change. All plan amendment applications are considered by the Planning Commission and City Council.

You can also visit the Plan Amendment Application, Forms, & Fees page of the City of Fresno website.

What are the fees for Plan Amendments?

Plan Amendment filing fee information is linked below.  For additional information contact Dan Zack at  You can also visit the Plan Amendment Application, Forms & Fees page of the website.

When is the Rezone application required?

Rezone applications are required whenever there is a proposed zone district change. All rezone applications are considered by the Planning Commission and City Council.

You can also visit the Rezone Application, Forms, & Fees page of the City of Fresno website.

When is a Conditional Use Permit application required?

A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application is required whenever a use is proposed that requires a CUP as outlined in the Zoning Ordinance.  CUP applications are reviewed by Planning staff and are only considered by the Planning Commission or City Council by appeal.   A CUP is also required for all cell towers.  For additional information on Cell Towers view our policy linked below.

When is a Development Permit (DP) application required?

Development Permit applications are required for all new structures, with the exception of single-family residences.

When is a Variance application required?

A Variance application is a request to modify property development standards due to special circumstances. Note, variances are not granted for uses (i.e. to operate a commercial use in a residential district), rather they are simply for development standards (i.e. setbacks, height, open space, etc.).

When is a Minor Deviation application required?

A Minor Deviation is a request to modify property development standards by no more than 10 percent. For example, if the required side yard setback is five feet, an applicant may request a 10 percent deviation which would allow the applicant to encroach six inches into the required side yard.

What is a Zoning Inquiry?

A zoning inquiry is a request for a formal response by the Planning Division for a set of specific planning questions.

What are the steps to the Zoning Inquiry process?

The applicant would submit an application through our online citizen portal: FAASTER. One the application has been accepted, staff will do research on the property(s). Once the research is finished, a staff member will upload a letter to the record for the applicant to view.

How long does a Zoning Inquiry take?

A zoning inquiry can take up to 14 business days from the date of acceptance to completion.

What are the fees for a Zoning Inquiry?

Basic Questions of Application: $187
Other Specialized Questions: $522
Per Parcel/Address (requests with multiple parcels/addresses): $187
Waiver/Interpretation of Development Standards: $746

What is the process for Signs?

Signs fall within two distinct categories in the city: temporary banners and permanent signs.

Temporary Banners
In order to display a temporary banner advertising grand openings, special events, sales, etc., a temporary banner permit must be obtained from the Planning Division. Temporary sign permits are:

  • valid for 30 day periods
  • may not exceed 60 square feet in area—must be affixed to a wall.

Note that only two permits per calendar year may be obtained. To obtain a permit, a plot plan depicting the location of the proposed sign, including the size of the sign, must be submitted through our online citizen portal: Fresno FAASTER. This permit is issued immediately.

Fee: $93.00 per sign

Permanent Signs
There are several different types of permanent signs:

  • wall mounted
  • monument
  • free standing pole
  • awning
  • projection
  • roof
  • window

Given the many variability’s of sizes, setbacks, height, etc. of the types of signs, it is recommended that an applicant visit Article 26 of the Fresno Municipal Code

Also note that shopping centers must participate in a Master Sign Program (MSP) where the design of the signs must be uniform. As part of this process, the shopping center owner prepares the guidelines, which in turn are reviewed by city staff to ensure that they comply with city ordinances and that the design is compatible with the center (i.e., pole signs are strongly discouraged). Once the MSP is established, future tenants may obtain sign permits, however, all applications must be signed by the property owner/management team.

Sign Permit Application (individual sign for a business without a Master Sign Program) Fee: $261

Fees: New Program $1,399.00
Sign Review with a Master Sign Program: $140
Revision to Master Sign Program: $373

What is the process for Tentative Parcel Maps?

A Tentative Parcel Map is a process that subdivides the property into four or fewer parcels unless the property is zoned for commercial or industrial development and the subdivision meets the exclusions afforded through Section 66426 of the Government Code.

For tentative parcel maps, contact:
Will Tackett

For final parcel maps, contact:
Randy Guill

When is an Easement Encroachment Permit required?

Easement encroachment permits are requested whenever someone proposes to encroach into an easement with a structure, pool, etc. Easements commonly include, public utilities (i.e. telephone, sewer, water), irrigation, flood control, etc.

Is a Zone Clearance required for a Cottage Food Operation?

Yes, a Zone Clearance is required for a Cottage Food Operation (CFO). The applicant is required to submit a Home Occupation Zone Clearance through our online citizen portal: Fresno FAASTER. Once Development Services staff approves the ZC the applicant shall continue the process and obtain their Business Tax Certificate from the Business Tax Division on the 2nd Floor of City Hall. The CFO applicant shall provide the Fresno County Health Department with a copy of the approved Zone Clearance.

What is the Planning process for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations?

Please visit the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Applications, Forms, & Fees page of the City of Fresno website for more information.